In Focus: Compliance Trends Survey 2013, a new report by Deloitte and Compliance Week, suggests that compliance officers are making slow but steady progress toward the ideal of a strong, independent compliance function.

The report, derived from a survey of nearly 200 compliance executives in mostly American corporations, shows that there are three primary trends that may hinder companies from maintaining independent, effective, and forward-looking compliance programs: a lack of appropriate, dedicated compliance staffing and financial resources; difficulty identifying and utilizing proper measurement and success benchmarks; and problems effectively prioritizing key compliance risks in a wide and growing field. Furthermore, the report reveals that many compliance officers may not be devoting adequate attention to some of today's most prevalent emerging risk areas — like social media and privacy.

For compliance executives to succeed, they should master the art of working with and leveraging resources in other functions (legal, IT, HR, and internal audit) to achieve compliance goals. Additionally, executives should help management and the board understand that a strong compliance function is a valuable strategic asset that not only focuses on risk avoidance, but can also create a strategic advantage by intelligently managing risk.

Read In Focus: Compliance Trends Survey 2013